What Is Physician-Assisted Suicide Or Euthanasia?

1350 Words 6 Pages
Brittany Maynard killed herself when she was 29 years old. On November 1, 2014, she took lethal medication, prescribed to her by her doctors, in Oregon in her home surrounded by her family (Ertlet 1). “I want to live,” she said. But she had brain cancer, a stage 4 Glioblastoma tumor, with very little time left for her life. “It’s a terrible way to die. Being able to choose to go with dignity is less terrifying,” she explained (Should Euthanasia...1). However, this right to die, the right to physician-assisted suicide, is currently only legal in 4 states across America (State-by-State...1). Physician-assisted suicide, or PAS, is the “process in which a doctor of an either sick or disabled individual engages in an activity which directly or indirectly leads to the death of the individual” (Salubre 1). Contrary to popular belief, PAS and euthanasia are not the same thing. While both involve lethal medication, the difference lies in who …show more content…
A huge step was made years later when Oregon passed the Death with Dignity act in the late 1990s, legalizing PAS under a variety of safeguards and guidelines (1). Perhaps one of the most memorable events in the history of PAS is Dr. Jack Kevorkian, who assisted over 100 ailing patients in their death. However, even though these patients made the decision voluntarily, Kevorkian was eventually charged with murder (1). Why should a man who helped terminally ill patients wishing for death, die, be sent to prison? Physician assisted suicide should be legal everywhere due to the concept of bodily autonomy, which is inclusive of the reasoning that the freedom to live according to one’s personal beliefs should be upheld always, and that terminally ill individuals can choose how they die rather than let their lives be taken involuntarily by an incurable illness and should not be forced to

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